A month ago, I received a call from a friend, and she immediately called me to join her in a nearby cafe. We sat there for nearly fifteen minutes, and she had barely said a word. She looked tense and worried. So, I kept trying to get her to speak, and eventually, when it happened, everything was sorted in the next 30 minutes. A few minutes later, we smiled at each other, waved goodbye, and called it a day.
Now, I know you may wonder what purpose it serves in the context of the topic? Nothing much, if you ask me. But if I have to tell you, that whole incident serves as a pivotal course of action we are about to deep dive in, i.e., communication.
Communication skills play the most critical role in our daily life. Communication is required, from getting the morning milk to explaining the following business plan and strategies. It's a thousands-year-old, most powerful tool which can change the course of the world at any time.
Over the years, communication has given birth to powerful mediums such as journalism, podcast, and Youtube. All of them can have a significant impact and serve as a catalyst for change in the world. Even in our professional life and career goals, communication does play a critical role. And suppose you can press those memory buttons of yours. In that case, you may recall how everyone, from your colleagues to seniors, must have emphasized the necessity of effective communication at some point in team building.
Proper communication skills are more important than the communication itself. Knowing what to speak, when to speak, and where to speak can help you achieve both short-term and long-term goals. Furthermore, most people teach us the proper ways of communicating while missing out on one major critical part - which words and phrases to avoid in communication.
Yes, there are many words and phrases in our daily dictionary that we must proactively avoid while communicating at the workplace. Some will be so surprisingly simple that you will tell yourself, "Holy cow! How did I not know about this?" With that being said, let's deep dive into the most famous-infamous words and phrases to avoid in communication. You can consider them as an important productivity tools for business.
Following are some of the day-to-day words and phrases we habitually use in our communication that we must avoid altogether (especially, if you want to build the right team for a startup.)
Actually has to be the first and most infamous word on the list. We often tend to use "actually" in defense or to correct someone. Now, we must remember that every human can make mistakes and mess things up now and then. And while you notice someone making a mistake, try not to correct them with an "actually" because it may feel like you're rubbing it on their face or are just being rude to them.
The word "but" is so apparent in what it goes on to accomplish. People use it calmly to discredit or overlook someone's suggestion or work plan. For example, "What you suggested is good, but maybe we should try this method." It may seem like it is a casual-calm way not to offend someone's hard work, but that's not the case. The other person does get that negative vibe but brings it to the table. So, instead of "but", try to make others feel valued simply by using "and" in its place. For example, "What you have suggested is good, and maybe we can try this method as well."
The assumption has become the death of many relations - personal and professional. It is primarily related to being understood and respected. When you use the word assume, it reflects that you haven't paid attention to the speaker. The whole act of assumption undermines the other person, while you may learn something more when you drop the act.
One of the most used words divided the people into two teams - Team Yes and Team No. While the former advocate its usage and other swear words as an instinct, the other denounces it as wannabe and rude. So, before using the word, ensure that you know how the person will react to it. If you think the person is "Team No,” don’t use it. It's no big deal after all.
Honestly is a word used right before a person is about to become dishonest, and that's a fact. Just see it this way - if you mean what you have to say, then what difference does the word "honestly" make to it. Nothing. So, just avoid it and say whatever you have to without using it as a crutch. Be confident about what you want to say, or simply wait until you feel more confident before speaking.
It's an infamous passive-aggressive phrase people use when they want to show aggression while maintaining a monk-like posture. It is a defense mechanism for people who want to be rude but don't want to make it obvious. It is always better to avoid using communication because it will more than likely rile up the other person unnecessarily, leading to an unfortunate turn of events.
Now, I can bet that most of us are guilty of using this word, including me. If you are surprised with the word in the list, let me tell you there isn't anything wrong with the comment "guy." It is just that the usage of the term has become outdated. We live in 2022, where we promote inclusivity and value each gender equally. So, when there are women and non-binary people in the office, using the word may cause them to become uncomfortable. So, it is better to avoid it in communication when you can use "everyone" or "everybody."
Let's all agree on one word for sure. Nope is a dismissive and disrespectful word and should have no place in any workplace. No, on the other hand, it is excellent. You can firmly decline someone with a No. But casually doing the same with a "Nope" shouldn't even exist in workplace communication.
There is a reason we have two different words - personally and professionally. With it comes several places that define the boundaries of personal life from professional life and vice versa. You must clearly understand that subjective opinion never matters in a professional workplace, and therefore, it will be thoughtful of you to avoid using it in communication altogether.
We just had "May the fourth be with you" day. The phrase became popular in pop culture courtesy of the iconic Star Wars dialogue - May the force be with you. More importantly, the reference reminded me of one of its characters, Yoda. Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." These are the words one should live by if they intend to grow big and grow soon in their career. As mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with a No. So, it can do work, it's good. Otherwise, it's best to say no right away.
We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.
*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.